Unformatted text preview: Writing assignment 2 ‐ due by 6:00pm on November 10th The Mazatec people, among others in remote rural areas of Mexico had a long tradition of using Psilocybe mushrooms in ways that were intended to help people deal with physical and emotional problems. Through the work of Richard Schultes, Gordon Wasson and others, the world became aware of the hallucinogenic properties of these mushrooms. This discovery and others that followed added to the sum of human knowledge, but also had some negative consequences. Outsiders traveled to Mexico to seek access to the hallucinogenic mushrooms, disrupting the lives of local residents and making it more difficult for them to continue traditional practices that had been a part of their culture for many generations. Elsewhere in the world, hallucinogenic mushrooms were abused to the point that most governments elected to make their possession illegal. Your paper should address the following questions. First, based on what you now know, do you think the dissemination of information about Psilocybe mushrooms should have been handled in a different manner? If so, explain how this could have been done in a way that might have engendered fewer negative consequences. If not, explain why you think the manner in which the situation was handled was appropriate. Second, do you think we need to have more widely accepted guidelines or policies that would protect isolated cultures from contamination by ‘world civilization’, which tends to take root wherever it is introduced? Explain why you think this is or is not necessary. Third, in more general terms, do you think it is desirable and/or necessary to deny or restrict public access to certain information? If so, under what circumstances would this be justified and how would it be accomplished (e.g., through laws, standards of professional conduct or education to achieve shared societal values)? If you favor making all information freely available, explain why you think this is a better policy. Grading will be based on the following: • Completeness – did you follow the assignment and address each of the questions listed above? • Quality – Are your responses thoughtful, clearly expressed and well justified? • Grammar and writing – are there significant grammar or writing problems? Format: Essay Length : 2‐3 pages, double spaced, 12 point font. References: Include if you use them (see handout on how to cite) but they are not required for this assignment. Getting help from your TAs: You can contact either TA or the instructor for help if you’d like it. You can come to office hours, make an appointment, or e‐mail us. If you would like feedback on your essay do not submit a draft to SmartSite. We will assume that papers submitted to SmartSite represent your completed assignment. Requests for feedback must be received at least two days before the assignment is due; that is, by November 8th in this case. Grading Rubric: 50 points possible • Completeness (30 points) o Do you think the dissemination of information about Psilocybe mushrooms should have been handled in a different manner? (10)
If so, explain how this could have been done in a way that might have engendered fewer negative consequences
If not, explain why you think the manner in which the situation was handled was appropriate
o Do you think we need to have more widely accepted guidelines or policies that would protect isolated cultures from contamination by ‘world civilization’, which tends to take root wherever it is introduced? (10)
o Do you think it is reasonable and/or necessary to deny the general public access to certain information? (10)
If so, under what circumstances would this be justified and who should be making decisions about what information needs to be protected?
If you favor making all information freely available, explain why you think this is a better policy • Comprehension (15 points) o Clear understanding of the topic o Demonstrates original thinking o Provide logical explanations of personal opinions • Quality of writing (5 points) o Grammar o Organization Thesis statement Conclusion Flow of writing and transitions between topics o Length (at least 2 pages) o Citations (if needed) ...
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- Fall '08
- Psilocybe mushrooms, negative consequences, remote rural areas, different manner